Fire families reunited

A FAMILY whose home was badly damaged by fire have been re-united with the quick- thinking children who alerted them to the blaze. Jessica and Liam Wigglesworth were on their way home from grocery shopping with their parents, Paul and Gail, when they saw flames in the roof of the two-storey cottage in Bacton near Stowmarket.

A FAMILY whose home was badly damaged by fire have been re-united with the quick- thinking children who alerted them to the blaze.

Jessica and Liam Wigglesworth were on their way home from grocery shopping with their parents, Paul and Gail, when they saw flames in the roof of the two-storey cottage in Bacton near Stowmarket.

The children, aged 13 and nine, alerted their parents to the fire and convinced Mr Wigglesworth to turn the vehicle around.

Sitting at the table of the cottage, having dinner, were the Thompson family who were blissfully unaware of the drama taking place above their heads.

And today they have said a huge thank you to the youngsters who could have saved their lives.

Jessica, a year 8 pupil at Bacton Middle School told how she and her brother spotted the blaze.

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She said: "There were some flames coming out of the roof.

"I said turn around and Dad had to turn around quite quickly."

At first Mr and Mrs Wigglesworth, of North Close, Bacton, thought their eagle-eyed children must have been mistaken but owing to the concern in their voices they opted to turn around and make sure.

Mrs Wigglesworth, 38, said: "We were driving through the village coming back from Stowmarket and both the children said together 'oh look that house is on fire.

"We said 'don't be ridiculous, it will just be a light'. We just thought it was a light in someone's house.

"They said we had to go back, they knew they'd seen a fire. They weren't mucking about."

When the Wigglesworth's arrived at the house of Gordon and Helen Thompson and their children Adam, 20, and Jennifer, 17, they saw the roof was on fire and the Thompsons were inside unaware of the danger above them.

Mrs Wigglesworth said: "Paul drove into the drive and we could see into the house and we could see the family sat around the TV having their dinner.

"There was an orange flame underneath the thatch. It wasn't the thatch on fire, it was an orange glow under it."

Mr Wigglesworth knocked the door to alert them to the fire and the two families made a desperate attempt to put out the fire but it quickly took hold.

About 90 firefighters battled the fire, which burned for five hours on Thursday night.

Dr Thompson said the warning issued by Jessica and Liam was crucial to his family escaping safely.

He said: "That gave us vital minutes and could have saved our lives because we managed to get out before the fire spread.

"For that we are eternally grateful and thank them very much."

Suffolk Fire Service also praised Jessica and Liam's actions, not only for getting the Thompsons out of the path of danger but also for reducing the damage to the house by raising the alarm.

Paul and Gail Wigglesworth are also proud of their children.

Mrs Wigglesworth, a primary school teaching assistant said: "I am proud of them.

"Jessica was very upset. She was saying 'those poor people' but I was saying we would be more upset if we hadn't gone back."

N Have your children done something out of the ordinary? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

n. FIREFIGHTERS spent more than two hours tackling a blaze that ravaged the roof of a Suffolk cottage.

Six fire engines were called to the fire, which broke out at 1.50pm yesterday at the part-tiled and part-thatched cottage in The Street, Lidgate near Newmarket.

The thatched part of the roof was completely alight and part of the roof collapsed. The ground floor of the two-storey property was also heavily smoke-logged.

The cause of the fire is not thought to be suspicious.

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